A group of young people are gathered in a public space in protest of climate injustices.
A group of five students stand in the courtyard of a government building.
A group of young people stand in front of a brick building and are smiling for the camera.
Youth vs The Apocalypse logo
A group of students are sitting on the floor of a classroom, while one student reads a document to them aloud.
A group of young people stand together in an urban space, wearing matching "Youth Vs Apocalypse" white t-shirts. Their fists are raised in protest.
A group of protesters stand together on the steps of a government building, holding signs against fossil fuels.

Youth vs Apocalypse

Bay Area, CA

In 2021, Climate Nexus launched an Energy Equity Regranting Project to help resource organizations, tribes, and community leaders on the frontlines of climate change and the impactful work they are doing to fight the gas industry. The energy equity transition grants prioritize grassroots groups with an annual budget of $1 million or less to boost their efforts in racially, ethnically, gender, and culturally diverse communities across the United States and at the intersections of public health and energy justice.

In our first year running the program, nine organizations received grants ranging from $20,000 to $40,000, including Youth vs The Apocalypse, whose work is detailed below. 


The oil and gas industry has been allowed to use marginalized communities as sacrifice zones across California. Oil and gas infrastructure is disproportionately located in communities of color. California Governor Gavin Newsom claims to be an advocate for racial justice. Still, he has continued permitting new drilling in communities of color, entrenching the environmental racism he claims to oppose. Meanwhile, the state has continued to allow fossil fuel companies to put profits over people, exacerbating the climate crisis and delaying a fair and just transition away from fossil fuel production that protects oil industry workers and frontline communities.


At the start of 2021, Youth vs The Apocalypse (YVA) launched its largest online fellowship cohort. With more than 50 primarily frontline youth participating, they used Zoom to build community and practice essential leadership skills, from strategic planning to interviews to social media strategies. Throughout the spring, they developed an online curriculum and reached hundreds of students through online presentations and Hip Hop and Climate Justice workshops. YVA’s campaigns found creative ways to support youth in taking online action, such as online demonstrations of how to call elected officials and social media and TikTok campaigns.

  • YVA held its first in-person action, calling on State Superintendent of Education Tony Thurmond to support fossil fuel divestment. The evening before the action, Thurmond publicly announced support for divestment and has since been a critical ally.
  • YVA dropped its third single and music video, “Where’s The Money At?” which was written, directed, and performed by young people and focused on themes of divestment and reinvestment in their communities. They also continued to refine their structure through work with organizational consultants. 
  • Students helped write a resolution for fossil fuel divestment that the California Democratic Party passed.
  • “Black Lives Matter, Water is Life,” is the name of a mural students painted to drive home the message that people have a right to life, healthy food, water, clean air, a safe place to live, and not to be discriminated against. YVA member Draven said, “We saw art as a way to get our opinions heard about millionaires making a profit from killing us.” 
  • In March, YVA held monthly mass actions and took a holistic approach to show how survival issues in communities of color are inextricably linked by bringing together hundreds of young people to highlight the connection between climate justice and migrant justice.

Lessons Learned

COVID-19 and the reduction of in-person events at schools have had a huge impact on their organizing, coupled with many of their leaders graduating. They are currently working to build back their local organizing capacity.

Feature and Sustainability

YVA is a diverse group of young climate justice activists working together to lift the voices of youth, particularly youth of color and working-class youth.

Their campaigns continue to grow, with CA Youth Vs Big Oil, a campaign to get school districts to adopt resolutions in favor of environmental health protections, and the Youth Vs Coal campaign seeking to win a permanent ban on coal in Oakland. YVA is launching Divest CalSTRS, a statewide coalition working towards divestment.

Filter Grantees by Year:

  • Earth Care

    Earth Care

    Earth Care is fighting false solutions like hydrogen and carbon capture, and is building public awareness of the health dangers of fracking.

  • Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples

    Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples

    The Sacred Places Institute for Indigenous Peoples is a forum for tribal communities to protect sacred sites and advance environmental priorities.

  • Rise to Thrive

    Rise to Thrive

    Rise to Thrive builds community among Women and Femmes of Color across the country to catalyze a shift of power within the environmental movement.

  • RENEW Worcester

    RENEW Worcester

    RENEW Worcester advances energy projects that prioritize communities and the buildout of affordable, renewable energy.

  • Viet Voices

    Viet Voices

    Viet Voices educates San Diego’s Vietnamese community about sustainability, environmental health, and accessible housing.

  • Society of Native Nations

    Society of Native Nations

    The Society of Native Nations works in Texas and California to contest the oil, gas, and petrochemical buildout from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast.

  • The Vessel Project of Louisiana

    The Vessel Project of Louisiana

    The Vessel Project is a mutual aid organization supporting people in Calcasieu Parish by meeting their emergency needs efficiently and without barriers.



    VISIÓN works with community organizations to establish health and safety buffer zones between oil wells and homes and schools.

  • 7 Directions of Service

    7 Directions of Service

    7 Directions of Service is fighting to cancel the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s Southgate Extension and to advance Rights of Nature laws.

  • People’s Justice Council

    People’s Justice Council

    PJC organizes not-for-profit electricity coops around Montgomery and is organizing their constituency around energy and environmental justice.

  • Washington Interfaith Network (WIN)

    Washington Interfaith Network (WIN)

    Washington Interfaith Network is working to help low- and moderate income DC households switch from fossil fuels to clean and efficient electric heating.

  • Mississippi Citizens United for Prosperity

    Mississippi Citizens United for Prosperity

    MCUP advances energy equity in Black and Indigenous communities by training women in clean energy contracting and project management.